The Year of the LORD’s Favor
Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
1. Most Hebrew Bible scholars link this passage to Leviticus 25 and the Year of Jubilee. On the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, all debts were cancelled and slaves were set free. And this every 50 years.
2. This beautiful piece of poetry is similar to the “servant songs” of chapters 42 to 55 of Isaiah.
3. It is thought there are two applications for the passage: one, the Jewish people returning from Babylon to Judah and Jerusalem; two, the forgiveness of sin through the shed blood of Jesus and/or the return of Jesus and the reign onset of the Kingdom of God.
4. The passage begins with the “Spirit of the LORD coming upon “me” and this reminds us of the Holy Spirit falling upon Jesus at the Baptism of John.
5. There follows then 7 purpose clauses, and these are evident with the use of the infinitive “to.”
6. 1–to bring good news to the poor. This good news is the Gospel. 2–to bind up the brokenhearted. We may see this as the experience of being forgiven and being filled with the Holy Spirit. 3–to proclaim liberty to the captives. This is the preaching of the Gospel message to those trapped in sin. 4–to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor. Here again the believer’s commission to evangelize. 5–to comfort all who mourn. “Comfort(er) one of the terms for the Holy Spirit as found in John 14. 6–to grant to those who mourn in Zion, and this presented in the rest of verse 3. 7–to give them, and four splendid gifts are listed, and all so that “he” the messianic servant “may be glorified.”
7. And for us who trust in Jesus Christ, we have two years of Jubilee. One, the day of our salvation. Two, either our death or the return of the Messiah.